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The Cunning and Courageous Jael

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If you have ever done any study on Sisera, the Captain of the host of King Jabin of Canaan, you know how ruthless he was against their captives. So, I do take satisfaction in the story of how God used Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, to kill this evil Sisera. His army was overcome by Barak and Judge Deborah and he fled on foot to Heber and Jael’s tent. It is quite gory how she accomplished the feat of killing Sisera. She most likely had somewhat against him. You can read the account in Judges Chapter

Jael was of the semi-nomadic desert tribe of the Kenites, who since the time of Moses were in close contact with the Israelites. They were farmers and metalworkers who had probably learned their skills in the Egyptian copper mines of the Sinai Peninsula.

Heber, meaning ally, had left his own people, the Kenites, and pitched his tent far north, close to Hazor. He had become an ally of Jabin, possibly helping him to develop his powerful chariots. So, Jael’s decision to side with the Israelites and not with the Canaanites, her husband’s allies, was highly significant. Such action suggests that she placed her heart’s commitment to God above that to her own husband.

So Sisera was running to find somewhere to hide and Jael called to him and offered him refuge in her tent. She gave him goat’s milk or yogurt (a precious drink for Bedouins) and she cunningly helped him to sleep. Then, using her own working tools, a peg and a hammer that she used to erect her tents, Jael killed her guest, the enemy of Israel and of Yahweh.

The fact that Sisera sought safety in the tent of a friend and found death is quite ironic, as is the fact that he fearfully hid from the mighty warriors who pursued him, while he fearlessly trusted himself for shelter to the hands of a humble woman. The great warrior, Sisera, suffered the ultimate humiliation by dying at the hands of a woman; Jael received consummate praise for her heroic act in Deborah’s song in Judges 5:24 – “Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.”

Yahweh again showed Himself as the One True God through fulfilled prophecy in Judges 4:9, 21 – “And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh…Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.” As well as glorious victory in Judges 4:23, 24 “So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.” God honored womanhood when He used Deborah and Jael to accomplish His purpose of delivering His people from their enemies.

Judges 5

1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,
2 Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.
3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.
4 LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.
5 The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.
6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.
7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.
10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.
11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates.
12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
13 Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.
14 Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.
15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.
16 Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.
18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.
19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.
20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.
22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones.
23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.
24 Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25 He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.
26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.
27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
28 The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?
29 Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself,
30 Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?
31 So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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Rahab – A Woman of Great Discernment

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I love reading the old stories of how God used so many vessels we would look at as unworthy to accomplish His will. And I love the stories of the women in Jesus’ lineage. Rahab was one of those women! She was clearly an intelligent woman who showed a remarkable knowledge of the recent history of Israel, and of what God was doing for the Israelites when they drew near to her country. In fact, she seemed more aware of God’s intervention for Israel than Israel was. Compare – Joshua 2:9-11 “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” to Joshua 1:2, 11, 13 “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel…Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it…Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.” She also had wisdom enough to obtain an agreement for protection from the spies, hid them, and out-smarted her own people when they came looking for them.

It took a lot of guts for Rahab to help the spies and arrange the deliverance of her entire family. Her siding with the Israelites was treason, punishable by death, not only for herself, but also for her whole family. Once she made her decision, there was no turning back.

Finally, Rahab was a woman who showed great spiritual insight. She recognized the difference between Israel’s God and the gods she and her people served. God was supreme–He did not share His rule in the heavens and the earth the way their gods did – Joshua 2:11 “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

We can see Rahab’s first confession of faith in her use of Yahweh’s name. Without any support or input from her world or Israel’s, she claimed the covenant name God gave to Moses when the Israelites first left Egypt – Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Then again, without any encouragement from others, she acted on her commitment by hiding the spies. This kind of faith was not often seen in God’s own people in the Old Testament, let alone from a Gentile harlot! It makes me think that Rahab had come to know the God of the Israelites and had a relationship with Him, even if it began out of fear for herself and her family. This is another great testimony to how valuable EACH and EVERY soul on earth is to our Lord God Jehovah! He would that NONE should perish!

This woman is a wonderful role model for making the right decisions and standing firm, even when it means going against our own peers. No wonder God wanted to honor her faith and courage by placing her in the line of our Messiah. Boaz, one of the most gentle and Godly men in the Old Testament, was her offspring. We are reminded of this in Matthew 1:5 “And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;” As well as in the Book of Ruth. God honored Rahab’s faith and courage by placing her in the lineage, not only of Israel’s great King David – Matthew 1:6 “And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;” But ALSO of Jesus, the King of Kings – Matthew 1:1 “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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Jochebed – Mother of Moses

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Moses introduces his mother to us as “a daughter of Levi” in Exodus 2:1. He was careful to identify her family heritage because until the lifetime of Amram and Jochebed, the name Levi implied violence and revenge – Genesis 34:25-31; 49:3-7 “And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?; …Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”

Hebrew thinking often equaled wealth with sons and daughters, when they thought on the promise of God to Abraham – Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” Note the beginnings of this Levite mother. She “conceived, and bare a son…saw him that he was a goodly child…took for him an ark…and put the child therein.” (Exodus 2:2,3) Her actions denote a fearless and focused woman of faith. She completely trusted God with her son. Her motivation and its results are clarified by the writer to the Hebrews – Hebrews 11:23-27 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”

Jochebed fearlessly disobeyed the Pharaoh’s edict to destroy her baby as she placed him in the Nile River in the safety of the ark, under the watchful eye of Miriam, his sister – Exodus 1:22 “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”; to surround him with protection, including a watchful sister, was faith – Exodus 2:3,4 “And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.”

Our Western minds have a hard time understanding the terror tactics of ancient pharaohs. Idolatrous and corrupt, they held nothing but contempt for the mysterious Yahweh of their Israelite underdogs. Hatred, hostility, and hard labor were facts of life. Yet one woman, acting as a caring and resourceful mother, soared above the evil around her. God saw her heart, heard her prayers, and intervened on her behalf. Her fame lives on through the lives of her remarkable children – Number 26:59 “And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.” God honored her steadfast purpose and faith by using one of her sons to deliver the Hebrews from Egyptian servitude and by appointing her other son, Aaron, as High Priest. Her daughter, Miriam, became the leader of the Hebrew women, and Jochebed’s entire tribal family was selected by God to lead the rituals of worship for His people.

Jochebed models for today’s woman an infectious courage to fear/reverence God instead of people and a firm faith in His promises and providences. The author of the Book of Hebrews records that Moses left Egypt, “not fearing the wrath of the king” – Hebrews 11:27 “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”, and that his parents before him were “not afraid of the king’s commandment – Hebrews 11:23 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.”

It is not so much important who you are but what you do to meet the challenges and responsibilities that come. Jochebed took her motherhood very seriously, nurturing her children in the Lord with conscientious devotion. Surely, she must have been the chief influence unto God in the preparation of these children for the great tasks God gave to each in leading His people out of bondage.

 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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Sarai/Sarah-Example of a Submissive Wife

Sometimes when we think of Sarai/Sarah, we tend to remember how she let her barrenness humiliate her to the point that she went outside of God’s will to give Abram/Abraham a son. Today I am thinking of how she appears in the Bible as a great example of God’s ideal for a married woman, in spite of her impatience.

There are two characteristics that mark her life: beauty and barrenness. Because of her beauty, even pagan rulers desired her, but she did not let it make her vain. It was her infertility that caused deep domestic humiliation and even disagreement in her marriage. She was treated terribly by other women in her family because they were fertile and she was not. Perhaps she could have saved herself some of that cruelty had she not given Abram her handmaid, Hagar, to mate with. But God has allowed that for His purpose, just like He does for all of us when we step outside of His will, and come to Him in repentance.

Without a doubt, Sarah had beauty, brilliance, and creativity, but one quality that plants her in our memories and sets her apart is her unique and unequaled devotion to her husband Abraham. She shared not only her husband’s challenges and heart aches, but also his dreams and blessings. Never did she waver; she stood by his side through good choices and bad decisions, adversities and blessings, in youth and in old age. She is a fine example of a woman who loved her husband unconditionally and determinedly. Many wives today seem to take every opportunity to demean or badmouth their husbands in one way or another. I find that contemptible. True, selfless love will never behave that way.

The Bible devotes more space to Sarah than any other woman. Genesis 23 is a whole chapter that talks about her death and burial. Both her husband and her son grieved deeply when she died at age 127. She was, without a doubt, a very nurturing mother to Isaac. I’m sure she thanked God each and every day for that fulfilled promise. – “And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her…And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 23:2; 24:67)

Sarah is commended in two New Testament references – Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” and 1 Peter 3:6 “Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” Romans 4:19; 9:9 – “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:…For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.”

She is also used to illustrate the difference between the bonded and free – Galatians 4:21-31 “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid (Ishmael), the other by a freewoman (Isaac). But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

Sarah is titled as one of “the Holy women” of old because she committed her willing cooperation to her husband. From the Biblical account, it is apparent that Sarah was strong-willed; yet she chose to submit to Abraham, an attitude which God commended. She was consistently identified as Abraham’s wife, reinforcing the fact that God viewed the pair as one flesh. Together they were asked to believe that God would give them a son.

Sarah is the only wife named in the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11:11. Her mothering experience fluctuated from emotions of skepticism, embarrassment, envy, and cruel recrimination to intense exhilaration and joy. Even though Sarah fell into sin, God faithfully kept His promise that she would be “a mother of nations.” (Genesis 17:16)

Perhaps more than any other Biblical woman, Sarah stands to teach women two supreme characteristics of Godly womanhood: humble submission to their husbands in marriage, and fervent commitment to nurturing the next generation. As I mentioned above, it seems to be “the thing” these days for women to take the leading role as head of the home and demean the husband and knock him down every chance they get. And, we see results every day in the news of children who are left to their own devices instead of being nurtured as all children have a need for.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Godly Women

 

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Manhood and Womanhood According to Scripture

These passages, from Job and Proverbs, show examples for us to live with Godly character in our manhood and womanhood.

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Job was a great example of how to be Men of Integrity:

Standing in God’s presence – Job 31:4 – “Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?”

Exemplifying Integrity – Job 31:5, 6 – “If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.”

Committing to Personal Purity – Job 31:7-12 – “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.”

Reflecting Justice in all Dealings – Job 31:13-15 – “If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

Giving Generously to Others and Showing Compassion to All – Job 31:16-22 – “If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;) If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.”

Setting Godly Priorities in Life – Job 31:23-25 – “For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;”

Living out Faith in God – Job 31:26-28 – “If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.”

Forgiving Others Without Holding a Grudge – Job 31:29, 30 – “If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.”

Opening His Home to the Needy – Job 31:31, 32 – “If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied. The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.”

Walking with the Lord – Job 31:33-37 – “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.”

Seeking to do Right – Job 31:38-40 – “If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.”

Solomon Teaches How we Women can live with Godly Character in Proverbs:

Managing her Household Well – Proverbs 31:10-12 – “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Working Willingly with her Hands – Proverbs 31:13 – “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”

Serving Her Household – Proverbs 31:14, 15 – “She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

Investing Wisely – Proverbs 31:16 – “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”

Strengthening Herself Through Proper Care of her Body and Spirit – Proverbs 31:17 – “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”

Using her Gifts Consistently and Creatively – Proverbs 31:18, 19 – “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.”

Giving Generously to the Poor – Proverbs 31:20 – “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” (Notice it says, “needy” not those who choose to beg instead of work.)

Protecting her Children – Proverbs 31:21 – “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”

Dressing Herself Attractively but Modestly – Proverbs 31:22 – “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”

Representing her Husband Well – Proverbs 31:23 – “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”

Using her Time and Energies Efficiently – Proverbs 31:24 – “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”

Exhibiting a Spirit of Optimism – Proverbs 31:25 – “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”

Speaking with Wisdom and Kindness – Proverbs 31:26 – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Exemplifying Faithfulness and Excellence – Proverbs 31:27-29 – “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

Receiving Praise for her Work – Proverbs 31:30, 31 – “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Now, these are the best guidelines we will find anywhere for living our lives with Godly character. As I read through each of these examples for me to try to emulate as a woman, I must admit that I am definitely lacking in several areas. It was good for me to be reminded to try to do my best to be a better example for my Lord and not be an embarrassment to Him. I am encouraged that God Almighty would choose me to be a shining light for Him.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2017 in Godly Women

 

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Do we treat our husbands as the God-given gifts that they are?

I find it totally disgusting how this world and today’s media demean the heads of our homes. Our husbands are a gift from the Lord, if we have first sought God’s will as to whether this man is God’s chosen mate for us. Many of us have had to learn the hard way the heartache and irreparable damage to all concerned when we seek our own will and jump into a relationship based on lust or “love at first sight.

When God brings the man He has chosen for our life-mate into our lives, that man truly is a gift from God, and he ought to be treated as such. To us women, a man is the most complicated of all God’s creatures to understand. (I know we hear men joke all the time about how they will never understand us women, and that is true also. 😉 )

He has high expectations for himself – when he fails to attain his dreams, he experiences emotions that he finds hard to handle. At times he may be afraid of rejection – comparison to another man, the inability to satisfy his wife. He may feel inadequate, insecure, frustrated, and helpless as he faces the challenges of life. During these times of vulnerability, our husbands desperately need us to understand and be his helper – “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18) He needs acceptance, appreciation, and affirmation.

A Godly husband will show respect for his wife in the way he treats her. This begins with his thought life – “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” (Proverbs 23:7) and it moves to his lifestyle – “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7) then to his communication – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) Because women are great responders, we generally will respond to efforts or lack of efforts from our husbands. This give-and-take is part of the mystery in human sexuality.

Just as God extended acceptance to all people in that He did not wait until we were worthy of His love – He simply loved us first – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) A loving wife will want to treat her husband as if he is already the person God desires him to be. That is the greatest encouragement we can give him.

  • A husband needs to have and deserves to have the respect of his wife – “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
  • A husband needs and deserves our appreciation. This means that we should recognize his worth, and hold him in high regard and respect. Notice how his face lights up and his chest bursts forth when we express how grateful we are for our life with him, his faithfulness, his hard work, and how he provides and cares for us. God has laid on my heart many times to let my Ron know how thankful I am that God brought him to be my life-mate and how he completes me. It is the truth and he needs and deserves to hear that from time to time.
  • A husband also needs affirmation. We should want to speak kind words to our husbands – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26) We enjoy assuring our husbands of our love and devotion to only him –  “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:11, 12)
  • A husband needs sexual fulfillment and sensitivity on the part of his wife to this need – “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
  • A husband needs a home to which he can go for comfort and peace – “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 24:67) I can sense immediately when my husband has had a trying day at work. I try not to hit him with any challenges I may have had, but ask him how his day went. I see instant relief as he lets our a slight sigh and shares his day with me. It is not always about challenges he had. Many times he loves to share pride in how he overcame some obstacle that no one else had an answer for.
  • A husband needs to find his wife attractive and to be proud of her “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” (Proverbs 31:28, 29) He needs to share mutual fellowship and fun with her. After all, our husbands are our best friends.

We ought to consider our husbands as a precious gift from God, and treat them with sensitivity, tenderness, and love. To meet his needs requires time–listening, touching, doing kind deeds, and creativity in doing the acts of love. When we do those actions, we will also receive in kind from him – “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Godly Women

 

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Pride Cometh Before a Fall!

Yes indeed, pride comes before we fall; we see it over and over as we read through God’s Word, how so many could have continued on in God’s blessings, but because of pride, they were brought low.

I am still reading Kings and Chronicles as they are meant to go together. I find that Chronicles has a bit more detail than Kings. I guess that is why we see repeatedly in Kings, “Now the rest of the acts of King such and such which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings…”

I get so excited when I read, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD…” And there were some who continued doing right, but there were so many kings who turned to the ways of the world and God had to smite the whole country because of it.

I also notice each time I read about the Kings in the Old Testament that God always mentioned the Kings’ mothers’ names. That shows the importance God places on mothers. 🙂

Recently I read 2 Chronicles 26 about Uzziah, who was only 16 years old when he began to reign and he reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.”

Then we read how he won wars against God’s enemies and became strong and made Jerusalem strong and built high towers. And here it begins in verse 16 that “when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore (80) priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:” Now we all know that only God’s high priests, who had been consecrated could burn incense to the LORD, for He is Holy.

Oh, but Uzziah had become so full of himself that he thought he was so great and could do that whatsoever he chose because he was the king. This happens to so many, especially when we make the world our friend. Do we not understand that to be friends with the world means we are enemies of God?

Well, just as there are always consequences to our sin against God, we see that there were consequences for Uzziah as well. Beginning in verse 19 “Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priest, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and behold he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.”

What a broken heart Uzziah’s mother must have suffered. If only he had stayed strong in God’s law (Word) and close to the LORD, he would have had many more wonderful years as king. Not only did Uzziah have to face the dire consequence of leprosy, God also had to call another to do His work in His Kingdom.

If you are running from God’s call to do His Work for His Kingdom today, because you find the things of the world more enticing, I urge you to turn back and follow God’s will. The things of this world are only fun for a season. I ask you to consider that the LORD will have to call someone else to do the work He initially called you for. How sad it will be in that day when you see Him face to face and give account of why you chose the world over Him.

2 Chronicles 26

1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.
5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.
6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.
8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
10 Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.
11 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.
12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.
13 And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.
15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:
18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.
19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.
20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.

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Posted by on May 27, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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